Teenagers and other minors interact with law enforcement whenever a police officer suspects a minor violated the law. As a result of the interaction, a minor may be arrested, given a citation or held in custody until a parent can arrive. These interactions can be straightforward and simple to resolve. Matters become more complicated if a minor claims he or she committed a crime because he or she was encouraged or commanded to commit the act by an adult. Once this sort of accusation is made, law enforcement officers must investigate the claim. Claiming that an adult contributed to the delinquency of a minor is a serious accusation and adults should understand the consequences and potential penalties that come with a conviction.
What is Contributing to Child Delinquency?
Florida law defines contributing to child delinquency as engaging in an act that causes or encourages a child to become delinquent. These are any acts which induce a child to commit a crime. The law will treat you the same if you enticed, threatened, or ordered a child to become delinquent or to become a child in need of service or remain in need of services. The law defines “child in need of services” as a child who:
- Runs away from home;
- Is truant from school despite reasonable efforts to remedy the situation; or
- Disobeys reasonable and lawful requests.
Common examples of contributing to delinquency of a minor include:
- Permitting a teenaged niece to use an empty room to have sex with her adult boyfriend.
- Providing drugs and alcohol to her teenaged son and friends.
- Recruiting middle and high schoolers to help with drug sales.
What are the Penalties for Child Delinquency?
The penalties for a contributing to a child delinquency charge range from large fines to lengthy jail sentences. Under Florida law, contributing to child delinquency is a first degree misdemeanor. You may be placed on probation for twelve months or sentenced to jail for up to one year. A court may decide to impose additional penalties which include:
- Court costs,
- Restitution payments, or
- Community service.
In addition to criminal sanctions, a contributing to the delinquency of a minor conviction may also stigmatize the adult charged with the crime. A conviction may result in restricted interaction with the accused’s children and other children in the community. It is important that you seek legal advice if you are dealing with this serious criminal charge.
Let an Attorney Help
Contributing to the delinquency of a minor is a serious charge. Just the accusation alone may impact an adult’s reputation and his or her ability to interact with children in the future. If you have been accused of contributing to the frequency of a minor, then you should seek advice from the orlando criminal defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth. We can help you deal with a contributing to child negligence charge and can advise you through the legal process. Contact us today 407-377-0150 to schedule an appointment.